The Chairman Emeritus of DAAR Communications Plc, Raymond Dokpesi, on Saturday said one of the greatest errors of his life was going into polygamy.
According to him, contrary to the impression that he entered into polygamy because of his wealth, he revealed that it was due to internal family challenges.
Dokpesi stated this in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Saturday as part of the activities to mark his 70th birthday.
The media mogul also revealed how he survived poisoning as a little child even as doctors in Poland predicted that he would not last more than 35 years.
He said, “I am a Catholic and I definitely will tell you that one of the greatest errors of my life is polygamy. But it is not something that I desired or something that I wanted. It was a situation that developed, I just had no alternative.
“A lot of people looked at it as if it was wealth that distorted my behaviour but the truth of the matter is that there were internal family challenges that led to the polygamy. I was married to a Polish woman, I wanted to remain with the Polish woman, I still desired it in my old age but she left Nigeria for reasons that she was the only child of her parents and so she had to stay with her parents and I had to stay here and there is no leave in marriage.
“And so, I shuttled down to Poland over 16 times requesting her to come back to Nigeria and stay but as the only child, she wanted to be by them. My mother was very anxious that I should have children that are my own; kids that I don’t have to enter a plane to go and visit. That whole thing caused the instability that later affected my life.”
The DAAR Communication boss further gave insight on how Polish doctors gave him a 35-year life span.
“Well, let me say 35 years was the benchmark that was given to me because in my very early years, I was very sickly. I was fairly handicapped because I could not talk from the very beginning of my life; but very many people assumed that because I could not talk, I could not hear or I could not understand what it was.
“So, I would normally just look and see, watch things as they happened. And I vividly recall when one of my father’s very close friends came to intervene about my schooling and he condemned, outright, any effort to invest in me because I was very sickly and secondly, he had not seen any child of a northerner succeed.
“I was handicapped and that was the toughest moment in my life at that stage and at that time, I felt highly discriminated against, I felt that I was likely to be denied the opportunity to live,” Dokpesi recalled.
“By the time, I was about 12 years I was terribly sick, my mother and father took me to several places from hospitals to native doctors and churches praying, looking for an opportunity for me to survive.
“They later took me down to Agenebode, when my father had almost given up, that I was not going to survive. We went through the banks of River Niger at the time. When we got to the destination, they said I had been poisoned and the people that committed the atrocity were there present and they will be able to deliver me,” he added.
Eventually, he was cured. “But behold, here I am, 70 years old, all those challenges put behind, I am strong, I am healthy and I thank Almighty God and all Nigerians that have given me support all through to be able to reach this year,” he enthused.